“Out of which material should you build your mold, steel or aluminum?” This is a very common question that we receive from our injection molding customers and is an important decision to make. The answer is usually dictated by your project requirements, expectations, and what ultimately defines “success” for your project.

QC10 aluminum is an incredible product that machines quite easily (40% faster than those made out of P20 steel). This saves you time and money, with parts in hand in as little as 1-2 weeks. On the other hand, if we were to make a mold out of steel, it will typically run around 100,000 parts while maintaining a polished A2 finish on the cavities.

Will the parts look good if you buy an aluminum mold?

Absolutely, unless you are trying to obtain an optical grade finish, which would likely require a steel mold. Aluminum transfers heat almost 5 times greater than steel, and this gives us a large window for processing. Typically we can run 5,000 to 15,000 parts off an aluminum mold before resurfacing the part line.

So what kind of mold should you buy?

For low volume parts at a reasonable price with a fast lead time, aluminum is the way to go. If you need a few hundred thousand parts, or something that is optical grade, then we would suggest building your mold out of P20 or another grade of steel.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other injection molding information, you can email us at quote@quickparts.com or give us a call at (770) 901-3200.